When Portland State University threatened last year to shut down unionized faculty members’ access to their email if they went out on strike, the university broke Oregon law, the state’s Employment Relations Board ruled last week, according to The Oregonian. The board, which said the threat interfered with faculty members’ exercise of their right to unionize, ordered the university to never again make such a threat and to inform faculty members of the ruling. A strike never happened, as the university and the union reached a tentative agreement on a contract.
Champlain College and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management announced on Monday that they had teamed up to offer the Vermont college’s online programs to the federal government’s more than two million workers. Under the partnership, federal workers, their spouses, and their adult dependents will be able to take Champlain courses at a 70-percent tuition discount. The college offers more than 60 online-degree programs toward certificates, bachelor’s degrees, and master’s degrees in “high-growth, in-demand, and mission-critical fields.” The new program resembles one, announced last year, that involves the University of Maryland University College.
The U.S. Education Department has budgeted more than $4 million to build its controversial college-ratings system, Inside Higher Ed reports. The department’s contract with RTI International shows that it has already paid the company at least $1.8 million to construct a website and test ratings models. The contract also shows that the system might allow colleges to annotate or provide context to their evaluations.
Northwest Nazarene University, a Christian institution in Idaho, has put on hold a plan to lay off six employees, including a popular professor of theology whose pending removal had prompted protests and a faculty vote of no confidence in the university’s president, the Idaho Statesman reports.
The professor, Thomas Jay Oord, and the other affected faculty and staff members had been expected to leave Northwest Nazarene at the end of the academic year, as part of budget shifts announced by the u…
Female faculty members at the University of California at Los Angeles medical school’s research center on Alzheimer’s disease worked in “a climate of conflict, tension, hostility, and mistrust” and faced “unprofessional, demeaning” treatment, reports the Los Angeles Times, citing a letter that describes the results of an external investigation. The letter, from Jonathan Hiatt, vice dean for faculty, said the inquiry had confirmed complaints filed by three women, who said their treatment was retaliation for reporting violations of research protocols. The Times could not reach Mr. Hiatt for comment. The letter did not identify the women or the men found to have discriminated against them, and did not indicate whether anyone had been disciplined as a result of the findings.
The University of Missouri at Kansas City allowed its business school to run up an operating deficit of nearly $11 million as it pursued a national and global reputation, since tarnished by a rankings scandal, The Kansas City Star reports.
The link between the deficit and that bid for greater status is the conclusion of a new audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers that focused on financial issues at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management. The report comes on the heels of an earlier audit requested by Gov. Jay Nixon after a Kansas City Star investigation reported that faculty members had submitted false data to get top rankings for the school’s entrepreneurship program.
The new audit shows the Bloch school’s operating shortfall increased from $1.5 million in 2009 to $10.6 million in the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2014. The school’s total revenue in 2014 was $19.4 million.
Authors: John D. Zilvinskis, research project associate, and Louis Rocconi, assistant scientist, both at Indiana University at Bloomington’s Center for Postsecondary Research
Summary: The researchers sought to determine what, if any, relationship existed between student engagement at any given college and how highly that institution was ranked by U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, or Washington Monthly. Their …
The University of Wisconsin at Madison will cut 400 positions, merge or close academic programs, and reduce support programs in response to anticipated state budget cuts, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The announcement, from the flagship’s chancellor, Rebecca M. Blank, is the latest development in a battle over funds between the university system and the state government.
“I want to emphasize that these changes, as difficult as they are, cannot and will not stop with this year’s budget,”…
Sixteen national organizations wrote to the chancellor of the University of Missouri at Columbia, R. Bowen Loftin, on Thursday to express their concern about the safety of the institution’s Jewish students after anti-Semitic graffiti appeared on the campus last week. The Missourian reports the groups also took aim at Mr. Loftin for not responding to the graffiti until several days after its appearance, “causing some Jewish students to feel marginalized and ignored.”
On April 9, a swastika, an Il…
Authors: Mark R. Connolly, associate research scientist, and the assistant researchers You-Geon Lee and Julia N. Savoy, all at the University of Wisconsin at Madison’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research
Summary: The researchers examined the career trajectories of people with doctorates in the STEM disciplines — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — and related fields to try to determin…